High 5 Pie says goodbye to Capitol Hill, Mighty-O says hell-O

(Image: Mighty-O)

(Image: Mighty-O)

Mighty-O is bringing its classic Seattle organic and vegan-friendly donuts to Capitol Hill. But first we’ll have to finish our pie.

Capitol Hill food and drink entrepreneur Dani Cone announced Thursday that her five-year-old High 5 Pie has outgrown its original home at 12th and Madison and is “moving into a fantastic commercial production kitchen with our eyes on making even more pies and coming up with places to serve them to you.” The last day for High 5 Pie in the Trace Lofts building is being planned for July 19th.

The move, Cone said, will open the way for Mighty-O to create what will be its third shop in Seattle. Its second shop is planned to open in Ballard later this month. The original Mighty-O stands in Wallingford’s “historic Keystone building” just above Green Lake.

Apparently, Cone and Mighty-O’s Ryan Kellner go way back:

Old pals Ryan Kellner and Dani Cone first met when Ryan started Mighty-O and would deliver the donuts each morning to Caffe Vita on Capitol Hill, where Dani worked for many years. They’ve gotten to work together a lot since then, (Mighty-O even delivered pies to wholesale accounts for High 5 Pie for a while!) and share experiences as they built their businesses. Mighty-O will be an exciting and much anticipated addition to Capitol Hill and a perfect next step for the beautiful space at our little corner of The Hill.

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Panel: Ending youth detention starts with making new 12th/Alder facility adaptable to other uses


Conceptual sketch of the approved Children and Family Justice Center.

Controversial plans to replace the crumbling youth jail at 12th and Alder may be moving forward, but officials are already anticipating the day when it won’t be used for youth detention at all.

In a report reviewed by City Council members Monday, members of an expert panel said the best way to stem racial disparities in the new King County Children and Family Justice Center would be to work towards ending the practice of youth detention altogether. That means building a new facility that could one day serve other uses.

“In its place, government should focus on community-run and neighborhood-based alternatives for youth that are adequately resourced to address youth needs …” the report read. Continue reading

Born at the farmers market, Rachel’s Ginger Beer ready for Capitol Hill homecoming

IMG_3276One of the best examples of the Broadway Farmers Market as a launchpad for Seattle food and drink entrepreneurs comes home to Capitol Hill Friday as Rachel’s Ginger Beer opens in the 12th Ave Arts building on 12th just north of E Pine.

The new RGB will keep 12 to 12 hours daily and supply the Hill with a multitude of french fries, soft serve, and a steady flow of Rachel Marshall’s spicy ginger beer along with her signature slushy cocktails. The all-ages daytime into nighttime venue features a patio and is filled with a greenhouse’s worth of plants.

Marshall’s places, she has said, cater to customers within a few blocks. For neighbors looking forward to being able to easily fill a growler of ginger beer, the walk — or ride with your growler basket — will be worth it.

RGB was born at a table at the Broadway Farmers Market and was part of the space at Marshall’s Montana on E Olive Way before she moved manufacturing to SoDo. The first RGB shop opened in July 2013 in Pike Place Market, Meanwhile, Marshall’s Nacho Borracho brought slushy margaritas and Monica Dimas’s in-house taqueria Neon Taco to Broadway in 2014. Dimas is in charge of the frites-focused RGB 12th Ave menu, too.

The new RGB joins U:Don Fresh Noodle Station and its “hand-made, fresh Sanuki-style udon noodle bowls” and Pel Meni Seattle Dumpling Tzar in the new building dedicated to a mix of theater space, nonprofit office space, and affordable housing. U:Don was first to open earlier this spring. The folks at Pel Meni said they hope to complete construction and be open by the end of July in time for Capitol Hill Block Party.

Last year when CHS first reported on the plan for RGB to join the new 12th Ave Arts building, Marshall said she and business partner Adam Peters made the decision to join the Capitol Hill Housing development as part of a calculated next step in the continued growth of the company.

“It’s absolutely a part of our longterm plan,” she said. “We invested a lot in infrastructure
and a lot of resources to ramp up RGB production.”

Marshall said that more than 70 employees now work across her various ventures.

RGB Capitol Hill opens Friday at 1620 12th Ave. It will be open noon to 12 AM daily. You can learn more at rachelsgingerbeer.com.

UPDATE: Here’s what it looks like inside:

(Images: CHS)

Marshall (Images: CHS)

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With pastry popular from Tirana to Istanbul, Byrek and Baguette opens on 12th Ave

Eva Gjekmarkaj (Image: CHS)

Eva Gjekmarkaj (Image: CHS)

Natalie Gjekmarkaj behind the counter (Image: Byrek and Baguette)

Natalie Gjekmarkaj behind the counter (Image: Byrek and Baguette)

Natalie Gjekmarkaj knows how to make byrek, said by some to be among the best street food in the world. Now, she has brought the recipe and its secrets to 12th Ave.

“My home country Albania — byrek. Even in Italy, Croatia, Serbia… If you go in Turkey it’s a big deal, too,” Gjekmarkaj tells CHS.

Quietly the newest part of 12th Ave’s Seattle U-proximate food and drink scene, Byrek and Baguette has opened near the corner of E Columbia inside a former Vietnamese restaurant. There, you’ll find a deli case full of byrek and Gjekmarkaj baking away to fill orders from what has become a bit of a booming business providing her flaky creations for business lunch delivery.

The byrek is intended to be a savory, light pastry. “It’s a very light dough and you need to work it about three times and keep it very thin,” Gjekmarkaj says. Her fillings are simple. She currently offers six: Continue reading

20 years of independence at Capitol Hill’s Northwest Film Forum comes as director plans exit

Lyall Bush at the forum's 20th anniversary gala (Image: Elisa Huerta-Enochian with permission to CHS)

Lyall Bush at the NWFF’s 20th anniversary gala. He’s stepping down as director of the nonprofit in September.  (Image: Elisa Huerta-Enochian with permission to CHS)

For 20 years, the Northwest Film Forum has gathered people on Capitol Hill around a common love of making, watching, and learning about independent film and executive director Lyall Bush has been there from the beginning. After watching the NWFF grow from a small film equipment collective into an invaluable arts asset for the city and seven years of steering the ship, Bush is now planning an exit for a new director to make their mark.

Bush announced on Thursday he would be stepping down from his post this September.

“You take stock, at that point, and ask what you want to be doing, and in a sense our 20th anniversary is a good chance for the organization to hit the refresh button (so to speak) as well,” Bush told CHS in an email. “It’s a chance for the whole operation to write a new strategic plan, craft new vision, and keep independent filmmaking going for another couple of decades.”

Bush’s announcement came on the same day that writer, director, and NWFF board member Megan Griffiths was announced as the recipient of the 10th annual Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film. Griffiths’ latest film, Lucky Them, featured scenes filmed in the heart of Capitol Hill in 2013.

Even as the city’s biggest force in film seems rejuvenated and as vital as ever on Capitol Hill with its 41st annual festival kicking off here and around Seattle this week, there are no guarantees of sustainability for smaller champions of film arts.

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Capitol Hill food+drink | Niche ‘100% dedicated’ gluten free cafe and bakery coming to 12th Ave

What happens when a pastry chef goes paleo? Food and drink entrepreneur Toby Matasar is opening Niche, a “gluten free cafe and bakery” on 12th Ave in a small space sandwiched between a Taco del Mar and a Starbucks across from Seattle University.

The pastry chef and owner of West Seattle’s Eats Market Cafe says she changed her own diet two years ago — “I literally felt like I was given a new body within a week of eating this way and I’ve never looked back, only forward” — and now has created Niche, a cafe and market “100% dedicated” to providing gluten free food and drink. Matasar says she hopes to have created “a haven not just for those looking to eat less gluten but for those who want to eat fantastic foods that happen to be gluten free.” The goal is to be open by the end of June.

Still known for her four years working as a pastry chef with Tom Douglas, Matasar tells CHS she lived on Capitol Hill “many moons ago” after college. Following an East Coast stint, she returned to Seattle but settled in West Seattle. “There’s always been a place in my heart for Capitol Hill since that’s where I first fell in love with living in Seattle which is what brought me back here.” Continue reading

Civic Duty | Madison BRT open house, 12th Ave E design review

  • Screen-Shot-2015-02-03-at-11.23.24-AM-600x438Madison BRT Open House: With the mayor announcing a revision to the planned levy that will help pay for it Since announcing an initial draft proposal in mid-March, the Mayor’s Office and SDOT have engaged people across Seattle, seeking feedback on transportation priorities. The revised proposal reflects what the City has learned through this engagement effort. — the Madison BRT project will be on the board Wednesday night at an open house to gather feedback on the $87 million project:
    SDOT would like your input on:
    -BRT design options, routing, terminals, and station locations
    -Priorities for transit service and capital investments
    -Design concepts for a Central Area protected bike lane

    Madison BRT Open House – 5/6/15 5-7 PM at Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences Middle School 1432 15th Ave

    CHS wrote here about the biggest design questions for the “bus rapid transit” project planned to create a corridor of speedy bus service from the waterfront all the way up to the Central District through the heart of First Hill and along the southern edges of Capitol Hill.

  • Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 11.06.27 AM12th Ave E Design Review: The review board has a light session Wednesday night with only one project on the docket. A four-story building with 51 apartment units and no parking is planned for 12th Ave just south of John. The old house standing at the site — like many others along 12th — will be demolished for the project.

    Design Review: 121 12th Ave E
    Design Proposal (PDF)Review Meeting
    May 6, 2015 6:30 pm
    Seattle University
    902 Broadway
    Administration Building Room 221
    Review Phase

Capitol Hill food+drink | Nate’s Wings and Waffles coming to 12th and Jefferson


(Images: Nate’s via Facebook)

Yes, the former Kingfish Cafe will soon reopen as a Pike/Pine-powered Italian joint, the Catfish Corner is no more, and Philly Fevre has moved aside, but there’s hope for Seattle’s inner city soul food, yet. Ms. Helen is coming back to 23rd and Union.

And Nate’s Wings and Waffles is coming to 12th and Jefferson.

“The new shop — it’s a lot bigger,” owner Darren McGill tells CHS of the former Ethiopian restaurant at 1224 E Jefferson being ripped apart in anticipation of a fall opening of the new chicken and waffle joint. “We’ll have an extended menu and a full bar.” Continue reading

Mystic makes 12th Ave plans in Seattle’s growing kombucha culture and community

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

da Silva at the Broadway Farmers Market (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Carlos da Silva started brewing kombucha as a hobby about three and a half years ago. He and his friend, Caitlin Matteson, were both yoga teachers who liked the beverage made from fermented tea, so they bought a home kit from Communitea.

The pair, and their friends, enjoyed the brew they came up with, but there was one big problem.

“We didn’t make enough kombucha for a habit,” da Silva said. “We wanted to make more.”

From that scoby — the squishy tea starter disc — sprang forth Mystic Kombucha, a company which sells its creations around Capitol Hill including the weekly Sunday Broadway Farmers Market, and which, as early as this summer, should have its own kombucha bar on 12th Ave. Continue reading

OK… one* more nostalgic CHS post… Art Invasion marks doomed 12/John house, Hill’s still-kicking arts scene

IMG_6385(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Thursday night — and for that night only — artists from around Capitol Hill and Seattle “invaded” a doomed house on the corner of John and 12th with art to showcase the vitality of the neighborhood’s longstanding independent arts scene and highlight the departure of yet another niche of the Hill’s creativity due to displacement.

The renegade art show, dubbed the Capitol Hill Art Invasion was organized by a longtime tenant of the 1920’s-era three-story labyrinth of a home; local artist Damien Puggelli in collaboration with members of a recently created local arts community building collective; Space 4 Art, many of whom are also Capitol Hill residents.

Puggelli, who has been living in a shed turned garage adjacent to the house since 2003, learned back in november of last year that the property is being sold by its joint owners to a developer who plans to demolish the pre-existing home to build high density apartments. Two adjacent and dilapidated properties on 12th Ave are also being leveled by the same company for similar purposes, according to Puggelli.

“I’m slightly heartbroken about this space,” said Puggelli. “What can you do?”

Puggelli says he has yet to receive an eviction notice, but was pre-empting his eventual and the relocation of other similarly displaced artists around the Hill with last night’s show.

Though Puggelli has been the only long-term resident, the house has provided studios and workspaces for numerous artists over the years such as K.D. Schill, a Seattle costume designer.

The idea for the invasion was hatched several months prior by Puggelli and collaborators, who wished to convey not only a “farewell” to the neighborhood but also the vibrancy and necessity of Capitol Hill’s independent arts scene, which they feel is being bulldozed — both literally and figuratively — by gentrifying forces. Continue reading